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Darren Sproles returns to New Orleans Saints practice

When New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles revealed he underwent surgery for a broken hand a few weeks back, there initially was fear he could miss two months of action.

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Instead, he might be back in just two weeks.

Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt revealed that Sproles practiced Wednesday, according to Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune. While Sproles is listed as "limited," Vitt said the running back was a "full go" in practice. (Sproles was in shells, and there was no hitting.) Vitt said Sproles looked good running and catching the ball.

If Sproles already can catch the ball, we'd expect to see him back on the field this week against the Oakland Raiders.

The Saints' running game has experienced an uptick since Sproles left, in large part because of Chris Ivory's insertion into the lineup. New Orleans can give defenses a lot of problems with Sproles, Ivory, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas.

More importantly, they can try to keep the Saints' defense off the field.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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